Otso Cycles Launches With Two Bikes


This week Otso Cycles launched a new line of bicycles. Otso’s bikes are from the engineers and innovators at Wolf Tooth Components, who up until now have made solutions for 1x systems and chainrings. The Exploro I’m riding and sharing stories about is spec’d with a Wolftooth front chainring. Focused on on bringing innovative bikes to the mountain bike and mixed-surface road markets (aka gravel), Otso released the Voytek and Warrakin. Of those, the Warrakin interests us the most. It’s described as the ultimate any surface drop bar bike. And, with this blurb

Native American folklore tells of a mythical wolf-like creature, the Shunka Warakin. Fierce and elusive, the Warakin evoked both fear and awe in those who encountered it. Like the legendary creature, our Warakin™ bike can take on many different forms. It can be a fierce CX competitor or a relaxed gravel adventure bike and everything in between. A beautiful and durable stainless steel frame combined with our patent-pending Tuning Chip™ system makes for the ultimate all road bike. Legendary stainless steel ride quality with modern features like carbon fiber fork, disc brakes and through axles combine for the perfect ride on any surface.

The tuning chip provides 20 mm of chainstay length adjustment and subtle changes to the bottom bracket drop and head tube angle. By moving the chip forward and back, you can change the characteristics of the bike from a fun and nimble cyclocross feel to a more stable touring handling.

tuning chip thingy

I asked Mark V what his take was. He replied.

I don’t really get the hype about “legendary stainless steel ride quality”….stainless steel is a very recent trend in bicycle manufacturing and still rather rare. I’m not sure where these legends are made unless we’re talking Instagram from NAHBS. But the Tuning Chip dropout inserts are very clever. I’d love to see how they function in the field, because the feature adds a layer of versatility to the framesets that perfectly matches the flavor of all-road cycling.

In just 5 paragraphs, the trendiest niche of the bike indstry has been described 3 ways. But, wait there’s more. It’s also defined as:

  • Adventure
  • Gravel
  • Anyroad
  • Allroad
  • Everyroad
  • Mixed surface
  • Alternativeroad
  • Roadlesstraveled

What do any of those terms mean? See this post on Medium Bicycles and Google “Tomac.”

Back to the Warrakin, I’ve ask for a demo to see how well their tuning chip works. SCOTT has offered a hot-swappable geometry on their MTB bikes for a few years and I’ve never used it on the trail. Of the two features, a tuning chip v. a chainstay that can handle 650b and 700c, I’d guess I’d chose the later. Until then, every turn of the pedals on the Exploro is with a Wolf Tooth chainring.

I hope Otso haven’t bitten off more than they can chew, launching a bike line in the category where much bigger manufactures are making a play.

The market will decide, once it also figures out exactly what the category is.

Iron Horse Trail: Tunnels Between Hyak and Easton

Iron Horse Trail presented itself beautifully yesterday, and we had a video camera with us. These tunnel are between Hyak and Easton in a section that passes two lakes. Seen in the video, is the 3T Exploro, an aero-gravel bike.

“What’s that?”

I’ve been talking about going slow fast on Medium Bicycles with more stories to follow.


BONX: Outdoor Sports Group-Talk Technology

BONX is a walkie-talkie that works on Bluetooth and is being crowdfunded. As an example of its application, Bobby McMullen relies on the BONX to be guided on his mountain bike rides. Bobby is from Marin County and only has 15% of his sight. He uses the BONX Grip earpiece with smartphone app with a guide riding in front of him leading the way. In the past, Bobby was forced to yell back-and-forth with the guide, but thanks to BONX Grip the two can now have a crystal clear conversation the entire time they’re on the trail. Besides guiding, the BONX will work for group activities, and staying in contact, just like walkie-talkies used to do.

As of today, BONX is at 89 of a 100K ask.

ProEditor Video Service

If you want to make your own edits, of an awesome ride, and weekend, a new service is available….ProEditors takes your raw cam footage and edits it down into a 2-3 minute, professionally-created final product.

Whether you ride dirt or pavement, GoPro cameras seem to be everywhere. And that’s great, but few people want to spend hours at home editing all that footage down to something worth watching. With ProEditors, just hand over your raw video, highlight sections you definitely want to keep, and in 2-3 days you’ll receive a final edit, complete with soundtrack. Best part is you’ll actually want to watch and share it.

This affordable ($100.00 per edit), easy-to-use video editing service looks great for anyone who wants to shoot and share video. Maybe you’ll start a bike blog too? Here’s a sample of their work from a Moab trip.

Exploro: Idaho Hot Springs

While we were in Bend, and I was riding a Exploro, Steve Grapple was riding his in Idaho. The edit is above and visual story on XPDTN3, a club for Exploro owners that ride as much as possible in 3 days.

We rented a shack and called it basecamp. I’d wholeheartedly recommend you do the same, but mind you it’s not the Hyatt. It hasn’t been gussied up or retro-modernized like so many other resorts. The rustic patina is clearly showing its age. No electricity, no running water. You bring your own sleeping bag and start your own fire. But it’s all in that authentic good way.

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